Our Community, Our Health

OCOH Our Community, Our Health

Starting A National Conversation About Health Research


Upcoming OCOH Events

Traumatic Brain Injuries: March 17, 2020, 6-7 p.m. EDT

  • Event Flyer
  • RSVP:
  • Livestream:

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Our Community, Our Health (OCOH) is a town hall meeting that facilitates a two-way conversation between the community and researchers.


It is a platform for:

  • Sharing ideas about health-research priorities,
  • Communicating research findings to the community, and
  • Integrating ideas for research from multiple stakeholders across the country.

Here’s how it works:

  • Each event has both a physical audience and people from various locations tuning in via live-stream.
  • Sites hosting local events begin with a community reception and local updates.
  • Then, all sites join a brief, live-streamed town hall comprised of health researchers, health experts, and community members.
  • Participants are invited to discuss the studies and future research with the presenters, encouraging a mutual understanding of health research and its impact.
  • Polling and social media are used to facilitate questions and comments across sites.

Each OCOH event features researchers from a different site, and feedback from participants is used to improve the forum as it continues to develop and expand. All events are open to the public.


Become a Participating Site

If your CTSA site is interested in hosting an OCOH, the University of Florida’s HealthStreet can help! The OCOH is an innovative way to engage the local and national community in the public health process while creating an opportunity to showcase your institution’s current research. To find out more about hosting an event, please contact Danielle Eshleman at (352) 294-4882 or by emailing a.eshleman@ufl.edu.


Past OCOH Events

Distracted Driving: February 11, 2020, 6-7 p.m. EDT

Key Topics:

  • Describe the connection between distracted driving and traffic safety
  • Explore how human behavior and perception contribute to distraction
  • Examine the impacts of distraction on traffic patterns and flow
  • Address legal and ethical factors in traffic safety
  • Discuss how federal and state laws affect distracted driving

Panelists:

  • Cary Gallop, Moderator, Alachua County Deputy Sheriff
  • Shan Bao, Ph.D, Associate Professor, Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering, University of Michigan, Transportation Research Institute
  • Wayne Giang, Ph.D, Assistant Professor, Industrial & Systems Engineer, UF Transportation Institute
  • Sandra Winter, Ph.D., OTR/L, Research Assistant Scientist, Associate Director of I-MAP, Department of Occupational Therapy, UF Transportation Institute
  • Pruthvi, Manjuantha, Ph.D, I-STREET Testbed Manager, Research Assistant Professor, Civil and Coastal Engineering, UF Transportation Institute
  • Jennifer Bard, MPH, PhD, JD, Professor of Law, Professor of Internal Medicine, University of Cincinnati

Event Information

Recorded Livestream


Cancer Survivorship: January 27, 2020, 6-7 p.m. EDT

Key Topics:

  • How cancer research drives community-based interventions
  • The connection between cancer and symptom management
  • The impact that health disparities have on treatment and intervention
  • How the narratives and efforts of cancer survivors further cancer research

Panelists Included:

  • Dr. David Cheng, PhD, Assistant Professor and cancer epidemiologist with the UF Department of Epidemiology
  • Dr. Debra Lyon PhD, RN, FNP-BC, FNAP, FAAN, Executive Associate Dean, Kirbo Endowed chair and symptom management with the UF College of Nursing
  • Dr. Ashley Ghiaseddin, MD, Assistant Professor of Neuro-Oncology with special interests in Quality of Life and Translational Research in Primary Brain Cancers which include Glioblastoma
  • Barb Thomas, Breast Cancer Survivor, Co-Founder and Coordinator of the monthly Cancer Connections meetings for ten years, Co-Founder of the Survivors for Research, and Cancer Research Advocate

Event Information

Recorded Livestream


November 6, 2019: Maternal & Child Health

Key Topics:

  • Leadership and community engagement
  • Maternal and child health equity
  • Innovation in equity
  • Shared lived experiences

Panelists included:

  • Camara Jones, MD, MPH, Ph.D., Fellow at Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University
  • Penny A. Ralston, Ph.D., Professor, Dean Emeritus, and Director, Center on Better Health and Life, Florida State University
  • Reverend Roosevelt Rogers, Pastor of Old Jerusalem Missionary Baptist Church, Convener, Pastors’ Advisory Council, Health for Hearts United
  • Courtney Atkins, MA, LPC, Executive Director, Whole Child Leon
  • Joedrecka Brown Speights, MD, FAAFP, Professor and Chair, Family Medicine and Rural Health, Florida State University
  • Miaisha Mitchell, BA, Executive Director, Greater Frenchtown Revitalization Council

Event Information

Recorded Livestream


May 29, 2019: Medical Marijuana and Public Health

Key Topics:

  • Health effects of marijuana and other cannabinoids
  • Use of marijuana in pain management
  • Use of marijuana in opioid use disorder treatment
  • Addictive potential of medical marijuana

Panelists included:

  • Shanna Babalonis, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, and Clinical Research KL2 Scholar, Department of Behavioral Science, Center on Drug and Alcohol Research, University of Kentucky
  • Ruben Baler, Ph.D., NIH/NIDA Health Scientist Administrator, Office of Science Policy and Communications (OSPC);
  • Robert Cook, MD, MPH, Professor of Epidemiology with a joint appointment in the Division of General Internal Medicine at the University of Florida; and
  • Jay Kuchera, MD, FASAM Algiatry, Addiction Medicine, and Anesthesiology at Resolute Pain Solutions, Envision Physician Services.

Our moderator was Patrick James Tighe, MD, MS, Associate Professor of Anesthesiology, University of Florida.

Event Information

Recorded Livestream

Resources:


March 28, 2019: Gut Health & The Microbiome

Key Topics:

  • The connection between gut health and disease
  • How gut microbiota are affected by diet and probiotics
  • The role of environmental factors on gut health

Panelists included:

  • Sandra M. Buerger, Ph.D., lecturer of natural sciences and mathematics in the Boston University College of General Studies.
  • Gary P. Wang, M.D., Ph.D., FIDSA, associate professor of medicine and chief of the division of infectious diseases and global medicine in the UF Department of Medicine.
  • Adam C.N. Wong, Ph.D., assistant professor of insect-microbe interactions in the UF IFAS department of entomology and nematology and the UF Genetics Institute.

Our moderator was Volker Mai, Ph.D., MPH, associate professor of microbiology and cell science in the UF College of Public Health and Health Professions’ and College of Medicine’s department of epidemiology and associate member of the Emerging Pathogens Institute.

Event Information

Recorded Livestream


January 22, 2019: Healthy Aging: Evidence-Based Lifestyle Interventions

Key topics:

  • Exercise and nutritional interventions for healthy aging
  • Enhancement of motivation in order to reach long-term health goals
  • Community-based programs that use evidence-based interventions

Our moderator was Marco Pahor, M.D., director of the UF Institute on Aging and founding chair of the UF College of Medicine’s department of aging and geriatric research.

Panelists included:

  • Stephen Anton, Ph.D., division chief of clinical research in the UF College of Medicine’s department of aging and geriatric research
  • Betty Flagg, administrator of community outreach and healthy aging at Elder Options
  • Kieran Reid, Ph.D., M.P.H., Scientist II in the nutrition, exercise physiology, and sarcopenia lab at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University

Event Information

Recorded Livestream


November 29, 2018: Diabetes: The Hidden Epidemic

Key topics:

  • Describe current diabetes research on Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes.
  • Discuss the growing prevalence of diabetes and whether funding for research is keeping pace.
  • Address the rising cost of insulin and what our communities can do about it.

Our moderator was Desmond Schatz, M.D., medical director of the UF Diabetes Institute and associate chair of the UF College of Medicine’s department of pediatrics.

Panelists included:

Event information

Recorded Livestream


September 27, 2018: Multiple Sclerosis: A Revolution in the Making

Panelists from the University of Southern California, the University of Florida, and the National Multiple Sclerosis Society gathered to discuss the advances in care and treatment of Multiple Sclerosis (MS).

Key topics:

  • What does the recent gene therapy discovery mean for current and future MS patients?
  •  Is early diagnosis important for the patient’s prognosis?
  •  What resources are important for MS patients and their caregivers?

Our moderator was Tirisham Gyang, MD, assistant clinical professor, and division chief for MS at the University of Florida’s department of neurology.

Featured panelists included:

  • Lilyana Amezcua, MD, associate professor of clinical neurology at the University of Southern California’s Keck School of Medicine
  • Brad E Hoffman, PhD, assistant professor in the departments of pediatrics and neuroscience at the University of Florida’s College of Medicine
  • Sarah Kurtz, MPA, manager of healthcare provider engagement at the National Multiple Sclerosis Society

Event information

Recorded Livestream


August 29, 2018: Pesticides and Health: What We Need to Know

Our panel of scientists and subject-matter experts from the Farmworker Association of Florida, UCLA, FSU, and UF gathered to discuss pest control and the impact of chemical pesticides on human health.

Key Topics:

  • Do pesticides increase the risk of neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s?
  • How are we exposed to pesticides?
  • How can we protect ourselves in our own communities and while on the job?

Our moderator was Pamela Koons, Executive Director, At The WELLness Network, Inc. and board member of the Gainesville chapter NAMI.

Featured panelists included:

  • Jeff Bronstein, MD, PhD, Director, Movement Disorders Program and Professor of Molecular Toxicology, Neurology, UCLA
  • Jeannie Economos, Pesticide Safety and Environmental Health Project Coordinator, Farmworker Association of Florida
  • Joan Flocks, MA, JD, Director, Social Policy Division Center for Governmental Responsibility, Levin College of Law, UF
  • Joe Grzywacz, PhD, Department Chair & Norejane Hendrickson Professor, College of Human Sciences, FSU

Event information

Recorded Livestream


July 26, 2018: National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month

UF HealthStreet’s 18th national Our Community, Our Health town hall meeting addressed the impact of childhood trauma and mental health issues on minority communities. The discussion focused on the negative consequences and life-altering outcomes of undiagnosed mental disorders and examined some of the reasons that diagnosis and treatment happen less frequently in minority communities.

Our moderator was Pamela Koons, Executive Director, At The WELLness Network, Inc. and board member of the Gainesville chapter NAMI.

Featured panelists included:

  • Michelle E. Jacobs-Elliott, MD (Staff Psychiatrist, UF Student Health Care Center; Assistant Dean, Office for Diversity and Health Equity, UF College of Medicine)
  • Micah E. Johnson, PhD (National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Drug Abuse Postdoctoral Fellow in the UF Department of Epidemiology)
  • Andres Pumariega, MD (Professor and Chief, Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Department of Psychiatry, UF College of Medicine and UF Health)

Event information

Recorded Livestream


May 21, 2018: Opioid Addiction: Controversies Surrounding Treatment

UF HealthStreet hosted the 17th national Our Community, Our Health town hall meeting, the second in our series covering the opioid crisis, on May 18, 2018. This town hall focused on the topic of medication-assisted treatment (MAT) for opioid use disorder (OUD).

Our moderator was Irvin (PeDro) Cohen, EdD, Chair, UF CTSI Community Advisory Board and Executive Director, Florida’s First Coast YMCA

Featured panelists included:

  • Jay Kuchera, MD, FASAM (Algiatry, Addiction Medicine, Anesthesiology, Envision Physician Services/ Resolute Pain Solutions),
  • Barbara (Basia) Andraka-Christou, Esq., JD, PhD (Assistant Professor, Department of Health Management and Informatics, University of Central Florida), and
  • Jason Hunt, MD (Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry, Division of Addiction Medicine, UF College of Medicine; Attending Physician, UF Health Florida Recovery Center).
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Our panelists discussed why MAT is the standard of care for treating OUD. They examined the stigma associated with the disorder and how barriers to treatment are accelerating the rate of overdose deaths in the US.

Event information

Recorded Livestream


February 28, 2018: Youth Tobacco Prevention Policy

UF HealthStreet hosted the 16th national Our Community, Our Health national town hall on February 28, 2018. This town hall focused on the topic of youth tobacco use and prevention policy. Featured panelists, including Dr. Ramzi Salloum (Assistant Professor, UF Health Outcomes & Policy), Victoria Hunter Gibney (Chair, Tobacco Free Alachua), and Andrew Romero (Health Policy Program Manager, FL Dept. of Health) presented data and research, discussed Tobacco 21, and answered questions about youth tobacco use.

Event information

Recorded Livestream


November 14, 2017: Food Insecurity: A National Town Hall

UF HealthStreet’s next Our Community, Our Health national town hall will take place on November 14, 2017, from 6-7pm. This town hall will focus on topics of food deserts and food insecurity. Featured panelists, including Dr. Bruce Waite (Fresh Wagon), David Dinkins (UF/IFAS), Dr. Catherine Campbell (Family Nutrition Program & Program for Research Efficient Communities), and Sylvia James (Gainesville Housing Authority) will be presenting research, discussing models that have been tested, talking about national issues of food insecurity, and answering questions about food deserts and food insecurity.

Event Information

Recorded Livestream


August 30, 2017: Opioids: A Crisis Facing Our Communities

HealthStreet, a community engagement program at the University of Florida, is hosting its 14th National Our Community, Our Health (OCOH) event to discuss how communities are being affected by the national opioid crisis. Researchers and physicians from the University of FloridaNova Southeastern University and Resolute Anesthesia & Pain Solutions are sharing the latest findings on the opioid crisis in the U.S. at a national, live-streamed town hall event called Our Community, Our Health: Opioids: A Crisis Facing Our Communities

Event Information

Recorded Livestream


March 30, 2017: Everything You Wanted to Know About the Zika Virus

Researchers from the University of Florida, the University of Miami and the Florida Department of Health are sharing the latest findings on the Zika virus to address community concerns at a national, live-streamed town hall event called Our Community, Our Health: Everything You Wanted to Know about the Zika Virus.

Event Information

Recorded Livestream


February 21, 2017: HPV Vaccine: Taking a Shot Against Cancer

HealthStreet — a community engagement program at the University of Florida, is hosting its 12th National Our Community, Our Health (OCOH) event to discuss how the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine can prevent various types of cancer among people in our community.

Event Information

Recorded Livestream


January 31, 2017: Addressing the Stigma: Intersections Between HIV and Substance Abuse

HealthStreet – a community engagement program at the University of Florida– and the Southern HIV and Alcohol Research Consortium are hosting an engaging event, Our Community, Our Health (OCOH), to discuss relevant research addressing the stigma against HIV and drug and alcohol use.

Event Information

Recorded Livestream


October 26, 2016: Understanding and Addressing Trauma Across the Life Span

HealthStreet – a community-engaged research initiative of the University of Florida Clinical and Translational Institute, in partnership with Georgetown-Howard Universities Center for Clinical and Translational Sciences, is hosting the 10th national Our Community, Our Health event (OCOH) to discuss the role that the trauma has on changing the face of our communities’ mental health care

Event Information


July 19, 2016: Nurses: Changing the Face of Health Care

HealthStreet – a community-engaged research initiative of the University of Florida Clinical and Translational Science Institute – and the University of Florida College of Nursing are hosting the 8th national Our Community, Our Health event (OCOH) to discuss the role that the nurse has on changing the face of our communities’ health care. The OCOH town hall series facilitates two-way communication between researchers and community members across the country. We share ideas about priorities for health research and ways to communicate research findings. We blend ideas for research from multiple stakeholders.

Event information

Recorded Livestream


June 30, 2016: Women’s Heart Health

HealthStreet, a community-engaged research initiative at the University of Florida, and the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences are hosting the 7th Our Community, Our Health event (OCOH) on women’s heart health. This town hall meeting facilitates two-way communication between the community and researchers. We share ideas about priorities for health research and ways to communicate research findings and blends ideas for research from multiple stakeholders across the country.

Event information

Recorded Livestream 


May 17, 2016: Mental Health Care Solutions in Our Communities

Event information

Post-Event Resources 


April 27, 2016: Lung Cancer Research & Me: Everything I Wanted To Know

HealthStreet is partnering with the UF College of Journalism and Communications’ STEM/CTSI Translational Communication Research Program to host an informative, interactive and engaging live panel discussion about lung cancer research. Panelists include Dennie Jones, MD,  a board-certified medical oncologist with expertise in the study and treatment of lung cancer. In addition to UF, participating sites included Florida Blue stores and six CTSAs. Through social media and text messaging, the one-hour forum provides local and virtual participants the opportunity to discuss the role of research in advancing the care of patients with lung cancer.


February 10, 2016: Colorectal Cancer Research

The UF HealthStreet and STEM Translational Communication Center hosted a live panel discussion about colorectal cancer research. The panel was moderated by Bridget Grogan, multimedia news manager for the UF College of Journalism and Communications. Through social media and text messaging, the one-hour forum provided local and virtual participants the opportunity to discuss the role of research in advancing the care of patients with colorectal cancer.


January 12, 2016: Breast Cancer Research & Me: Everything I Wanted To Know

HealthStreet partnered with the UF College of Journalism and Communications’ STEM/CTSI Translational Communication Research Program to host an informative, interactive and engaging live panel discussion about breast cancer research. Panelists included Karen Daily, D.O., a clinically-based investigator and educator at the UF Health Breast Center; Rebekah Bush, CCRC, a clinical research coordinator certified by the Association of Clinical Research Professionals; and Lisa Edwing, a 20-year breast cancer survivor. In addition to UF, participating sites included Florida Blue stores and six CTSAs. Through social media and text messaging, the one-hour forum provided local and virtual participants the opportunity to discuss the role of research in advancing the care of patients with breast cancer.


September 24, 2015: Marijuana Use Among Youth

In alignment with the Substance Abuse and Mental Services Administration’s celebration of National Recovery Month, Our Community, Our Health focused on research findings related to marijuana use among youth. The featured speaker was Dr. Maureen Boyle, Chief of the Science Policy Branch at the National Institute on Drug Abuse. The program also included music and performances by the University of Florida’s Arts in Medicine program.


April 9, 2015: Type 1 Diabetes and High Blood Pressure

The April 9 forum featured experts from the University of Florida and Health Literacy Missouri. Each researcher presented for about 20 minutes, followed by 10 minutes for questions and answers. The program concluded with tips on how to talk to your healthcare provider about the topics discussed. HealthStreet hosted the event in Gainesville, Florida, and was joined by eight other Clinical and Translational Science Award sites across the country.